Irreducible and Stubborn Facts
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I enjoy “Dueling Banjos,” and the Lord of the Dance review doesn’t get into gear until the “Dueling Fiddles” number. However, I am nauseated when both sides of the gun rights debate haul out their clichés. It only occurs when some horrific event occurs. On 4 November 2017 after the events at Sutherland Springs they cut loose like a pair of duelists going at their business with Nock guns.
Then something new came up. The murderer should not have owned the gun he used. Under existing law he was not allowed to own or purchase firearms. He beat his wife and damn near killed his stepson (domestic violence) and was convicted of this in a Court Martial (felony conviction). He escaped from a mental treatment facility (mental incompetence). He had made repeated threats against kin who attended the church he shot up, had various run ins with the law for abusing animals and domestic issues. He was the poster boy of who NICS was designed to block from buying firearms.
Let us for a little bit put aside our natural dislike for NICS as libertarians. All persons convicted of domestic violence, all persons convicted of violent felonies, and people placed under psychiatric treatment for threatening murder are supposed to be on the NICS database as ineligible to buy firearms. Yet this Sick Fuck was able to buy four guns after he finished his sentence. The previous administration tried (and failed) to make signing a power of attorney reason to be put on NICS. Yet somehow Sick Fuck, the poster boy for NICS, was able to buy four (4) guns. Apparently the Air Force forgot to tell the FBI that Sick Fuck was a felon convicted of domestic violence who by the way was mentally incompetent. So he was able to buy four guns.
Was it a clerical error? Is there an issue of people covering up domestic abuse in the military and law enforcement, to include not reporting domestic abuse convictions to NICS? In fact, are the Armed Forces and LE agencies covering up for their own in general when they get in trouble that would put them in the NICS database? Congress is investigating, what a surprise.
A nasty, evil minded part of me is thinking Sick Fuck was deliberately left off the NICS database so that one day he would do exactly what he did. Same part is wondering if he was the only one, or have anti-gun forces arranged to have other monsters seeded into our society by leaving them off the NICS database.
If that last speculation, dear Lord how I wish it’s only speculation, is true, even in the least possible sense, out there there is a group of people who we can only call the Sickest Fucks. If they exist, it is time for the supporters of gun rights and the decent supporters of gun control (there are actually a few) to call a truce and go after this monstrous common enemy. And refrain from playing dueling cliches while they’re at it.
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Re: “Space Cadets—For a Libertarian Future!” by L. Neil Smith
Mashall T. Savage offered a similar solution in The Millennial Project. He proposed using high energy lasers to burn up and vaporize the smaller stuff and to provide impulse to de-orbit the bigger pieces either into the atmosphere to burn up or push them to the sun as you recommend in your article. This would be a dual function of an existing network of laser launch systems put in place to propel spaceships into orbit and to destinations in and beyond the Earth-Luna system.
Have often thought about some kind of salvage operation to go out and retrieve whole rocket stages and abandoned satellites just for spare parts and even the mass itself which would be high value because it costs an outrageous fortune to put stuff in orbit and it’s already in orbit—tons and tons of it. It could be a good source of scrap metal to be melted down in an orbital foundry until lunar or asteroidal material becomes available. That provides mass in the early stages of orbital construction and cleans up near earth space killing two birds with one stone!
I always lamented the disposal of the external fuel tanks on the space shuttle missions. They could have been so useful for building a network of orbital stations and fuel depots to support manned lunar and asteroid missions. Someone even had a plan to use them to build a ring of them into a modular space station that could provide spin gravity which is going to be essential to health—if human beings are going to take up permanent residence in space or stay there long term.
You mentioned that some of the stuff—like the discarded camera from the Gemini mission has historic value. Let us hope the authorities don’t get pissy about this stuff like Indian artifacts or Greek antiquities or it will become a disincentive and we need that stuff picked up before it hurts someone or in the worst case scenario causes a chain reaction of collisions called the Kessler Syndrome also described in Savage’s book, which could render space inaccessible for the next 100 years or more!
The Future of VPNs?
My name is Alex and I created BestVPN.org out of frustration, concern, and an interest in anything related to internet security—and I’m not alone. More than 80% of Americans are concerned about how companies use their data while ad blockers, VPNs, and anonymizers are becoming the new norm for privacy.
As the VPN market continues to grow, so will the number of newcomers to the topic. I most recently created a four-part series for those new to the VPN world:
Beginner’s Guide to VPN Terms
VPN: Frequently Asked Questions
Latest VPN News and Case Studies
Online Privacy, Mass Surveillance, and the Future of VPNs
I figured that this would be a topic of interest for you or something you’d like to share with your audience.
The Cosmic Ocean—Issac Arthur's YouTube tribute to Carl Sagan
Latest Issac Arthur update this week. It was a tribute to the legacy of the renowned astronomer Carl Sagan who passed away this week in 1996. That was perhaps the only low point of what was otherwise among the greatest years of my younger days.
A great influence on Mr Arthur and many others including myself—Carl Sagan gave us all much insight into the nature of the Cosmos- whose namesake was the title of an awe inspiring book that became a PBS mini series. He also wrote a science fiction novel Contact about radio communication with an alien civilization that was turned into a movie staring Jodie Foster.
Sagan was noted for some controversial political views regarding the nuclear arms race and climate change. Indeed it was from his TV series that I learned of the latter and for quite a while l believed. My views on that issue have evolved considerably since then but in many ways I still think he was right about many other things. Especially the waste and destruction of war. [This Link to YouTube]) While looking through other YouTube videos of episodes of Cosmos and various interviews it became obvious that despite a largely progressivist world view he was in some ways a libertarian. Especially pertaining to things he said in regard to individuality and he was a strong advocate for medical Marijuana and the right of people to make their own decisions in regard to drug use. [This Link to YouTube]) He was compassionate as well as a passionate and articulate spokesperson for advancing the layperson's knowledge of the cosmos and rationality over ignorance. His passing at 62 was premature and regretful—but at least he lived long enough to see the fulfillment of his prediction in the 1980s that within a generation we would know whether or not other planetary systems existed: with the discovery of the exoplanet 51 Peg b—a hot Jupiter in a close orbit around a main sequence sun-like star!
That would be my definition of a successful prediction and a crowning achievement for a legacy.
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